Education

Purdue President Mitch Daniels Shares Purdue Moves Initiatives

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October 16, 2013  — Most of the students attending Purdue University Calumet in Hammond are not the typical 18 to 22-year-old college students.  That’s what Purdue University President Mitch Daniels shared with the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce. 

The collegiate face is changing, so Daniels supports regional campuses that offer a variety of options such as Purdue Calumet’s expanding borders.

“Many of them are just like most of the students that come to Purdue Cal. They’re juggling jobs and families and sometimes both.  They’re doing as much as they can.  Sometimes they have to stop and come back.  It’s really incredible to meet these people and see what they’re doing to better themselves.  We’ve got to have options like that,” said President Daniels.

PUC Chancellor Tom Keon welcomed President Daniels, who also holds the title as the state’s former governor.  Keon said Daniels is allowing the Hammond based school to become more and more autonomous and do what is best for them.

“We’re continuing to work with them [City of Hammond] on the Towle Theater and continuing our work with Dowling Park for new athletic facilities,” Keon said.

He added those expansions are helping to attract different students.

“We’re getting more and more full time students, we’re getting younger students and we’re getting higher graduation rates.”

Some issues surfaced during the presentation such as credits not transferring between Purdue Calumet and the West Lafayette campus.  Daniels said the Commission on Higher Education is looking into the matter, which may add to the school’s challenges.

“Everywhere, including West Lafayette by the way, we need to do better.  Our graduation rate, the time it’s taking.  Not near good enough.  Sometimes the quality of education the students are getting,” Daniels told the crowd.

He laid out his new Purdue Moves initiative, which will focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math or STEM Leadership, World-Changing Research, Transformative Education and Affordability and Accessibility. He said Purdue is expensive, but it provides a quality education. In addition, he said because student loans are now bigger than credit cards and auto loans, the school is under a tuition freeze and he said students and parents will pay less.

“If you are a student living on campus and eating our food and happen to be in our coop you will be going to Purdue for 900 dollars less this year than last year.”

Daniels compared the Purdue system to its biggest competition, Indiana University and other high achieving schools across the country. He hopes to create a year-round school that offers research in plants and drug discovery.  Another goal is to give students more international experiences and double the numbers that reside on campus.

“Students who live on campus do better.  There’s a lot of data about this.  They get better grades, they progress more rapidly and they graduate more certainly.

Daniels, who started Western Governors University, an online based school, discussed competing with similar schools that allow students to learn in their pajamas.

By Renetta DuBose

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